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'India can produce 100 Usain Bolts'

Source: ANI
Last updated on: December 06, 2017 16:34 IST
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Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore

IMAGE: Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore. Photograph: PTI

Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore was his optimistic self as the reckoned that India has the potential to produce 100 Usain Bolts if everyone comes together and pitches in to change the country's sports culture.

Rathore spoke about the various efforts being made by the government to improve the selection process at the school level, such as the national-level talent hunts scheduled around May-June next year.

"In India there is skill based selections so other countries are able to out run us, we want to change that.

"Someone who is 5 feet 11 inches at the age of 12 should be selected for volleyball or basketball teams while somebody with no hand-eye coordination but runs extremely fast should be put in for 100 metre running," the sports minister said.

"I firmly believe that a country with 1.25 billion population has capability of producing 100 Usain Bolts," said Rathore, who won a landmark silver medal in shooting at the 2004 Olympics.

He said the government's focus was to promote sports among the school children, which will encourage them to participate at the regional and national level.

"We have for the first time got a sports broadcaster that will broadcast live the national school sports events. There is maximum audience at a school event but you have zero audience at a National event," Rathore said.

The minster also called the private sector to partner with the government with new and innovative ideas to help towards the betterment of sports.

"We (government) have the funds and the raw materials, let’s combine the two with the help of your (private sector) ability to operate things," Rathore said.

He said resources need to be used more efficiently and for that there needs to be a change in the outlook of the bureaucracy and the private sector.

"A useless piece of land next to the Sabarmati, that housed decapitated government buildings, has been converted into an international class stadium. Such projects help use the land better and also generate revenue," said Rathore, who won a silver in double trap at the Athens Games.

Rathore said his ministry has proposed an App that will provide information about the nearest playground anywhere in India, will provide tips on how to play a game, the rules of the game and also give information which was earlier only available to the professionals.

"Many times we are unaware of the rules and regulations of the sports like weightlifting. This App will provide everything at one place," he said.

Rathore also said a National Sports Code will be brought in to ensure transparency in sports organisations.

Speaking at the sidelines of a sports award function in Bhopal, Rathore said, "We are building a national sports code. Under the code we will have the provision of transparency to run the federations and sports organisations efficiently."

He added, "It depends on person's capabilities, who are heading the affairs, that how they want to run the organisation. So the most imperative thing is the group of people in a field. Seeing the political scenario around, I am sure that good people will come into the field and change the environment."

The sports minister reiterated that the Sports Authority of India (SAI) will undergo a structural reform in the coming years in wake of enhancing the efficiency of the body.

"We want to change the structure of Sports Authority of India. And for that we want to bring the coaches to the senior positions. We want them to be a part of the decision making body. By the year 2022-23, the strength of SAI will be reduced to almost 50 per cent. We want to make the body lean to improve the efficiency," he quipped.

The Olympian also talked about the 'Khelo India' initiative to promote the culture of sports in the country.

"We will invest Rs. 40,000 crore for 'Khelo India' which will begin from January, exclusive of the live telecast investment," he said.

He informed that that under the initiative thousand players will be chosen each year and will be provided scholarship of Rs 5 lakh for a continuous period of eight years.

Rathore emphasised on the importance of building and promoting coaches to develop sports and notified about his planning to do so.

"Till now the officials at sports federation and ministry used to be VIPs, now this culture will not be followed. Now the most important people will be players, coaches and spectators. We will now provide incentives to the coaches at grassroots level and will digitalise the system to do so," he opined.

Rathore concluded that a bank of coaches will be built under ‘Khelo India’ initiative and will also have certification courses for coaches.

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Source: ANI

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